Thursday, 29 January 2009

Marmalade time again!

It's time for Seville oranges in the shops again, so I've been busy! As the oranges are only in shops for 4-5 weeks you have to make them while they are available. Mine was a hit last year so I've made one batch and may well make another to keep me (and the parents) supplied all year.

Unfortunately I had a real problem stopping these from burning on the bottom of the pan this time (not sure why, I stirred constantly and it HAS to be hot to reach setting temp!?) so anyway this batch has a bit of a 'darker' taste to it! Hubby says it still tastes great but I'm not so sure. It definately IS still marmaladey though and will be fine if I don't get round to doing another batch.,1223,RC.html

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Black gold....

.....apparently! Today was a muck spreading day. Freebie manure from a local farm all over the potato beds-to-be. Hubby loaded and dumped the barrow and I spread. We enjoyed it up there today. You can't tell from the photo, but it was a sunny day though quite cold. We'd dug these beds a while back and mostly had them covered. Underneath it was a lovely crumbly soil. Smashing!

First sign if life from the rhubarb. I've got high hopes for these, they've been in a year and a bit now, I may even be able to sneak one or two this year. Yum yum!

And finally, the new step-over apples are starting to burst...already!! So exciting, roll on Spring!

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Khol Rabi Smiley Man

As an update on my dinner - it was lovely, but Hubby looked down on his plate and found this fella looking up at him! He couldn't bring himself to eat him! Not surprised!

A lovely sunny day!

Just a short one as I didn't do much, but what a beautiful day!

The garlic is finally poking it's head through. I superbly mucked up last year, planting both the onions and the garlic too deep and they never really got very big. This year WILL be very different!

I bought a Victoria plum tree from Tescos for £7. I had been looking at them but they were mostly just a twig so wasn't that impressed and left it. Today when I went in though, there was this little fella - he came home with me! He has a prime spot and I've high hopes for him!

A better pic of one of my stepover apples - they really are lovely!

And finally...... the take home for the day to go with my roast dinner. There are two sorts of beetroot, mini khol rabi and parsnips that range from a MONSTER to small and rude (second pic top right!) all in the same row! What more could I ask for? All now peeled and ready to go! Mmmmmmm!

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Bit Chilly - Brrrrr!

We haven't really been down to the plot for a good few weeks, what with stuff on in the Christmas run up. Happily everything seems fine. No weeds are growing so all the beds we dug are still dug and sitting expectantly waiting for crops or manure to go in/on (now where do I get that from?). I really feel on top of it this year. We've dug the final bed and it's all about preparation for next year.

Here we are in the middle of winter and we are still pulling up produce from the plot. In my tub I've got beetroot, jeruselem artichokes, parsnips and PSB! Fab, and all went into a yummy roast.

A fella up the hill gave me some spring cabbage seedlings. They were in the greenhouse, but began to look a little sorry for themselves. I decided to plant them and cover with a cloche (that I got for Xmas, thanks M & D). They've got as much chance in the ground - at least they've room to grow and will get some nutrients. 2 weeks on, they are happy enough (By the way, the foil trays were to scare off the pigeons, but 3 have already fallen off and I find the noise really irritating so I don't think they will stay!).

A full length plot view!

We had a new visitor on our plot. I'd love to say I was responsible for the photo below, but unfortunately I was not - my efforts are next! It's from the RSPB website I'd never seen one of these birds before and it seems it's quite rare and on the Amber list for conservation. Very exciting, especially if it's a mating pair and not just a migrating visitor!

My amazing photos......well it was fairly far away!!

Below is the last bed we needed to dig for the first time. Not sure what I'll put in it. Courgettes maybe?

Another sort of 3/4 view of the plot.

Lastly, my MIL bought me 6 step-over apple trees for my birthday in June and at last they have arrived (at the right time to plant!). We tried them all over the plot but have settled for mostly along the main paths. We'll put a path behind them too and shuffle the beds around a little. It's quite hard to see them in the photos, but they looks great - basically running between the posts where the girl put each tree's roots to bed under the pile of straw. Mmmmmm can't wait!


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